American Actions During The First Seminole War

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Throughout its history, the United States has claimed to be a democracy that fights for freedom for all. Americans have opposed imperialistic states and have fought against empires. However, based on specific definitions of imperialism, U.S. leaders have been guilty of fighting multiple wars to build their empire, even if their explicit reasons for doing so suggest otherwise. Examples of these imperialistic trends include American actions during the First Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, and the annexation of the Philippines. According to historian Tony Smith, imperialism is defined as “the effective domination by a relatively strong state over a weaker people whom it does not control as it does its home population, or the effort to secure such domination.” Further, “the dominant power assumes sovereignty over the subject people in the form of annexation, colonialism, or an avowed protectorate.” By this definition, the U.S. is an empire. Evidence of this imperial nature exists as far back as 1816 and the First Seminole War. During that time, the Spanish owned Florida, but President Monroe believed that “the peninsula was a natural appendage to the United States, and…hankered to possess it.” After Spain was unable to fulfill Andrew Jackson’s demand that a British-built fort occupied by blacks within the Florida territory be removed, the U.S. built Fort Scott. Using the supply route that Fort Scott created, the U.S. surrounded, sieged, and destroyed the Spanish

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